Friday, February 12, 2010

RBNY Pre-Season Roster Trimmed: Cepero Gone

The Red Bulls announced today that four players were waived from their pre-season roster. Of the four, the most notable was goalkeeper Danny Cepero (pictured above), famous worldwide for that incredible 70 yard goal he scored against Columbus in late 2008. You might recall that Cepero, who lost his starting position to Bouna "Time" Condoul last season, was thrust into the spotlight due to John Conway's banned substance suspension late in the 2008 season. He posted shut-outs against Houston and Real Salt Lake (first round and semi-final, respectively), but was not able to keep a rampant Columbus off the score sheet at the 2008 MLS Cup Final.

The other three players waived were right back Carlos "The Red Card" Johnson, center back Walter Garcia (who only played the final game last season) and little used forward Matt Mbuta. While Cepero migh have been the most notable of the four waived, Johnson's release ranks as the "shocker" here, if only because the team has only one viable option at right back. Jeremy Hall, a converted midfielder, played the position last year and the team picked up veteran Chris Albright last month. Albright, however, is still recovering from the injury that kept him out of action for most of last season and there is no telling when he'll be able to play.

Intersting developments, to say the least. Most interesting (to me, anyway) is that none of the five players taken by the Red Bulls, in last month's Superdraft were cut. Hans Backe obviously rates Connor Chinn higher than Mbuta and and has chosen to keep looking at the talented, but diminutive, Irving Garcia, who I'm really pulling for to make the team. As far a the backup goalkeeper position goes, I'm guessing it will go to either former Columbus keeper Bill Gaudette or former Toronto keeper Greg Sutton, both on trial with the Red Bulls.

In other Red Bulls news, the team announced this week that it has added Swede Goran Aral to the coaching staff. Also, the team has lined up two more friendlies down in Florida this month. Oh, and there's only 28 days left until the "Soft Opening" of the Cathedral of Football, Red Bull Arena.
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